An active noise control (ANC) system has been applied to the problem of attenuating low-frequency tonal noise inside small enclosures. The intended target application of the system was the reduction of the engine firing frequency inside heavy equipment cabins. The ANC system was based on a version of the filtered-x LMS adaptive algorithm, modified for the minimization of acoustic energy density (ED), rather than the more traditional minimization of squared acoustic pressure (SP). Three loudspeakers produced control signals within a mock cabin composed of a steel frame with plywood sides and a Plexiglas® front. An energy density sensor, capable of measuring acoustic pressure as well as acoustic particle velocity, provided the error signal to the control system. The ANC system operated on a single reference signal, which, for experiments involving recorded tractor engine noise, was derived from the engine's tachometer signal. For the low frequencies at which engine firing occurs, experiments showed that ANC systems minimizing ED and SP both provided significant attenuation of the tonal noise near the operator's head and globally throughout the small cabin. The tendency was for ED control to provide a more spatially uniform amount of reduction than SP control, especially at the higher frequencies investigated (up to 200 Hz). In dynamic measurement conditions, with a reference signal swept in frequency, the ED control often provided superior results, struggling less at frequencies for which the error sensor was near nodal regions for acoustic pressure. A single control channel often yielded performance comparable to that of two control channels, and sometimes produced superior results in dynamic tests. Tonal attenuation achieved by the ANC system was generally in excess of 20 dB and reduction in equivalent sound level for dynamic tonal noise often exceeded 4 dB at the error sensor. It was shown that temperature changes likely to be encountered in practice have little effect on the initial delay through the secondary control path, and are therefore unlikely to significantly impact ANC system stability in the event that a fixed set of system identification filter coefficients are employed.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy



Date Submitted


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active noise control, acoustic energy density, tractor, tractor cab, ANC, filtered-x, feedforward, system identification, cab acoustics, FXLMS, energy density, noise control, tractor noise